* Industrial product prices rise 1 pct in month; 1.8 pct
* Raw materials prices up 5.7 pct in month; 3.9 pct yr/yr
OTTAWA, April 1 Higher fuel prices and a weaker
Canadian dollar helped lift Canadian producer prices by more
than expected in February, Statistics Canada data indicated on
Manufacturers' prices rose 1 percent from January, and 1.8
percent from February last year, versus economists' expectations
in a Reuters survey of 0.8 percent and 2 percent gains
Energy and petroleum product prices jumped 2.4 percent in
February, led by a 2.5 percent rise in gasoline and a 4.1
percent increase in diesel fuel. Excluding energy, the producer
price index rose 0.8 percent.
Sixteen of the 21 major commodity groups registered price
gains in February.
Because some producers who export their products report
their price in U.S. dollars, the 1 percent depreciation of the
Canadian dollar versus the greenback in February had the effect
of boosting prices in Canadian dollars. Without the exchange
rate effect, prices would have risen 0.8 percent, Statscan said.
Raw materials prices also rose more sharply than forecast,
up 5.7 percent in February for the biggest gain since June 2009
due to a big jump in crude oil prices. Raw materials prices rose
3.9 percent on the year.
Analysts had expected raw material prices to rise 2.8
percent in February and to fall 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Alden